Chevrolet Rides the Special-Edition Wave

The current-generation Chevrolet Silverado 1500 debuted almost three years ago and already has had a midcycle redesign, but it still has just five trim packages: WT, LS, LT, LTZ and High Country. Of course, Chevy offers the Z71 Suspension Package on several trim levels to create two more extra levels. And don't forget about all those GM accessories. Unfortunately, buyers have been slow to embrace the growing accessory catalog GM has amassed for its pickup customers.So GM decided to add the accessories to the pickups and call them special editions.

We've seen several special editions for Chevy pickups in the last few years, such as Special Ops, Midnight and Realtree Silverado 1500s. None of these pickups are technically different from a standard order-from-a-dealership truck, but they have several specific accessory modifications and special paint jobs to give them a customized look and feel. Sometimes its more aggressive tires and black-out rims, sometimes its a unique paint job or maybe low-profile tires and a racing stripe; other times it's a complete makeover with a hunting or fishing theme. But all of these special editions use existing catalog accessories.

According the Automotive News, Chevy is sold on this special-edition strategy and is likely to continue the practice because of the success it's had with Camaro and Corvette special-edition vehicles. Chevy trucks marketing czar Sandor Piszar understands that the days of offering a limited lineup to a diverse buying population are gone. To be successful, truckmakers need to have niche products that cover every type of buyer imaginable. If you don't have the right the truck for a buyer, you better have the right accessories to allow him or her to build the truck they need.

Lately Chevy seems to be doing the best job of creating the most exciting packages, especially with offerings like the Navy-inspired Silverado 1500 Special Ops and off-roadish Colorado Trail Boss, but we expect both Ford and Ram to step up their game in much the same way. One of the best and most efficient features of the Chevy special editions is that they're relatively inexpensive to produce. After all, Chevy is just adding a few accessories, which doesn't require extra engineering or government crash-testing.

We don't have any doubt that Chevy, and by extension GMC, will continue this quick-hit strategy for several more years, at least until the new Ford Raptor and Ram SRT make it into production.

Read the whole story at:  http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2016/03/chevrolet-rides-the-special-edition-wave.html

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